by Alvin Mitchell
Copy Right June 2005
By Alvin Mitchell
|The following study was inspired by Elfrem W., seeking answers to the following questions:
This message is not flagged. [ Flag Message - Mark as Unread ]Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 21:02:51 -0700 (PDT)
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Name = Elfrem
Comments: = "Question? Could you show in the Bible where Jesus Christ in shown as an Heavenly Presbytery? Define
Presbytery? Thanks for your support and help."
First of all, this “…law of first reference” to which you refer, I have no knowledge of. It is to my knowledge not a
biblical concept. I have never read it in any Bible myself, nor have I ever heard any Bible teacher of any substance
make reference thereto.
As for the term Presbytery, it is an English derivative of the Greek term “presbuterion” (pres-boo-ter’-ee-on). Its
literal meaning is “the order of elders”, and in the case of the local church is a general reference to its “elders”
and/or “bishops” (Gr., ep-is’-ko-pos), i.e., to the older (and, hopefully “wiser”), more spiritually mature
members of a congregation, whose business or duty it is to provide leadership and oversight, superintendence
(if you will), as they watch out for the spiritual (and physical) care and well being of God’s flock.
In the strict sense of the word, there is no place in the Bible where Jesus is ever spoken of directly as our Heavenly
Presbytery. On the other hand, where duty and function are concerned, there are several references that call our
attention to His Role as our Heavenly Presbyter (Gr., presbuteros—pres-boo’-ter-os: an experienced Elder,
whose job it is to look out for the well being of the saints). The first is in Revelation 1:13-15 , where He is
called the Ancient of Days, which equates Him with the God of the Old Testament, who, in Daniel 7:9, 13, is so
referenced (consider also Micah 5:2). Thus the age requirement, one might say, is fulfilled. He has been around for
a while. He is mature, seasoned; He is not a novice in this game, having been around for a very long time. He knows
His business. In John’s Gospel, He gives reference and witness to Himself not only as the Door—providing the only
entrance into Heaven, i.e., by means of which one can be saved—but, He is also the Good Shepherd, providing life
(eternal) for all who believe, by the giving of His Own. Moreover, as the Good Shepherd, He provides for and
superintends our spiritual needs through the medium of the Comforter (the Holy Spirit, who lives within all of us,
who have placed our faith, trust, and confidence in Jesus as Lord and Savior), who gives us guidance through
instruction, leading us (through the Word of God), into all the truth that God has in store for us, as He testifies (not of
Himself) and directs all eyes and hearts to the Savior, Jesus the Christ (convicting the world of sin as He does! John
10:7-15; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14). As our Heavenly Presbyter, He is also the One and only True vine, by
whose words we are pruned and honed, for maximum service and production, so that “we can be all that we can
be”, in the army of the God who lives on high! As such, we are branches in Him, without Whom we can do
nothing (that will ever in any way, please or appease the Father). It is He, through the Holy Spirit of the Father, from
whose roots provision is made that we may draw the nourishment needed to take us to the next level, in terms of our
spiritual maturity, and productivity (John 15:1-5). Finally, in the letter to the Hebrews, Jesus the Christ of Calvary is
called the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. As such, He is now seated at the right hand of the Father up
in Heaven—having been made (transformed, or, “morphed” if you will, into) flesh and blood (like us) so that He
could destroy the rightful hold and the claim that death had on all mankind through decimation of the of the holder of
death, namely the devil (due to the failure of Adam; see Romans 5:12-19), and so that He, who was originally,
throughout all of eternity past God in Spirit form (having been subjected to and, having experienced in His flesh, the
same trials and tribulations, sufferings and temptations as the man He himself created, all without ever even once
failing; and, having learned to obey the Father through those things which He suffered), so that He, I say, might now
occupy at the Right hand of the Father, as our Merciful and Faithful High Priest (3:1, 2; 2:15-17; 4:15; 5:8).
Furthermore, Elfrem, having completed His mission here on earth, as a Man among men, He is now the “Author of
our salvation forever more” to all believers who will obey Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith (a faith that
was begun and etched into the annals of Heaven by His flawless, faithful earthly sojourn and walk, washed and sealed
by His sin-free blood, so that, all that is needed for our salvation has already been done; there is nothing else to be
added, beyond our acceptance and obedience to the Father’s call, as our will is bent so as to conform to His)(Heb.
5:9; 12:2). In addition, here in Hebrews, He is the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and man (His
life of obedience all the way to the death on Calvary’s cross having done away with the Old Covenant based upon
the Law), by means of which we may now receive the promise of an eternal inheritance (forgiveness of sins, salvation
through faith, and eternal life) (9:15; 12:24).
Thus, then, we see, can we not Elfrem(?), that Jesus—who is the Great Shepherd of us His sheep (Heb. 13:20)—
serves in the role of our Great Heavenly Presbyter, in a number o f different ways, no matter what hat He wears.
Ok, Elfrem? Let me know it this is in anywise helpful, and if I can be of any further assistance, don’t hesitate to ask,
alright? Bye now.
Serving our only Heavenly Presbyter,